Samsung has been the most popular Android manufacturer for years. They’ve also held the top position when it comes to flagship Android smartphones for a long time. However, the last two iterations haven’t made a huge impact because of their incremental updates. The S4 was nice, but it wasn’t a big step forward from the S3. The Galaxy S5 offered water resistance and internal upgrades, but it’s still nothing explosive.
With the Galaxy S6, Samsung has completely shifted gears. There was a time when you can’t put Samsung and beautiful design on the same sentence, but those days are now gone.
This is the Galaxy S6 Edge – a reimagined Galaxy S smartphone. Samsung finally ditched plastic as its choice of material and joined the premium looking/feeling smartphone party. Whether it’s a good or bad choice remains to be seen, but early feedbacks suggest that it’s heavily favored by the majority.
Samsung Galaxy S6 Edge Specs
- Android 5.0 Lollipop
- 5.1-inch Super AMOLED (1440×2560 Quad HD), ~576ppi
- 2.1GHz octa-core Samsung Exynos 7420 processor
- Mali-T760 GPU
- 3GB RAM
- 32/64/128GB internal storage
- No microSD support
- 16-megapixel main camera, with autofocus and LED flash
- 5-megapixel front camera
- Wi-Fi 802.11 a/b/g/n/ac
- 3G HSPA, 4G LTE
- Bluetooth 4.1
- GPS, A-GPS, GLONASS
- Dimensions: 142.1 x 70.1 x 7mm
- Weight: 132g
- Li-Ion 2600mAh non-removable battery
Galaxy S6 Edge Video Review
Let’s talk about the design. The Galaxy S6 retains the familiar Samsung design language in front but it’s now using Corning Glass 4 in front and the back compared to the soft touch plastic material that was used on its predecessor. There’s also no more fake metal on the sides, as it’s been replaced by aluminum with chamfered edges this time around.This gives the S6 Edge an elegant feel in the hand – something that can’t be said to previous Galaxy devices. The power and volume buttons are still on their usual places while the headphone jack has been moved to the bottom. There’s a small resemblance to the iPhone 6 speaker grills but the similarities end there. In my eyes, the Galaxy S6 Edge looks more aesthetically pleasing than the iPhone 6. It’s not even close.
Overall, the build quality has been vastly improved and it puts it as one of the nicest looking phones right now.
The Samsung Galaxy S6 sports a high resolution Super AMOLED Quad HD display, with 577 pixels-per-inch – it’s one of the most pixel-packed display out there. On paper, this thing is absolutely ridiculous. But I still have my Galaxy S5 with me and comparing the two shows how large of an improvement was done on the display. In true Samsung fashion, the S6 takes the crown as the best display from the Note 4 (via DisplayMate). They’ve been known to push the smartphone displays to the limit and they’ve lived up to our expectations once again.
The brightness is absolutely awesome as it makes it easy to use even on direct sunlight. During night time, it can dip it down really low so that it won’t hurt your eyes. The auto-brightness has been improved and I now use it because it became ‘smarter’ in detecting lighting conditions I’m in. Unfortunately, for some weird reason, the capacitive buttons light up whenever you interact with the screen. I hope Samsung would release an update to bring back the old time-out setting just like on the S5.
The curved edges on both sides of the phone definitely makes it a stunner, but it’s also a source of minor annoyances. First, it’s really uncomfortable to hold for an extended period of time because the edges start to hurt my hands. In fact, sometimes it even leaves a mark on my palm. It’s also a bit slippery if you don’t grasp it properly. Lastly, there’s a chance of an accidental click if you don’t position your hands firmly. One example is when watching a movie or YouTube video. Sometimes I could mistakenly forward the clip without my intention. As I’ve said earlier, the longer you hold the phone, it’s more common to get tired of it so you have to move your hand around which results to the clicks.
Another thing to watch out for also is the fairly visible glares on the sides. Since this is an almost bezel-less device, the edge screen attracts a lot of glares.
The Edge screen has it uses and features though. The most prominent is the blinking notification shade when the phone is turned down. It’s basically the same as the LED notification in front but it makes use of the edge. It can be color coded to give you an idea about the notification but putting down the phone on its screen face down is not something a lot of users are comfortable with. People edge brings a list of favorite contacts by swiping from the edge. It’s quite convenient but I don’t think it’s something that can be much faster than finding what you need the traditional way. Other features also include information stream and night clock. Information stream gives you quick glances to some important content from your favorite news sources, social media updates, and it also displays your recent notifications, without having to power on the device’s whole display, which may conserve a partial of juice in the battery.
Night clock will leave the Edge screen constantly on, displaying the time and date.
I appreciate Samsung’s creative ideas and effort in implementing these extra features. But in my opinion, the edge doesn’t offer that much in terms of usability right now. But as an additional touch for design, it’s incredible.
Previous iterations of the Galaxy S series used the company’s own in house Exynos and Qualcomm’s Snapdragon processor. This time around, Samsung decided to stick with their own guns and just use the Exynos 7420 on all variants.
The Samsung Galaxy S6 is powered by the latest Exynos 7420 octa-core processor (quad-core 1.5 GHz Cortex-A53 and quad-core 2.1 GHz Cortex-A57), 3GB of DDR4 RAM and Mali-T760MP8 GPU. This means that there’s absolutely lots of power in store on this little beast and you would need to do a lot to make it suffer even for just a bit. It’s one of the fastest smartphones out there today. Benchmarks and real life usage proves that too. Everything is fast and snappy, and there’s very little stutter throughout our time with it. Although TouchWiz is still TouchWiz, a lot of improvement has been done and we’ll take about that in the software section later.
Of course, we can’t have it all. The change in design prompted the exit of the removable battery feature that Samsung has been holding on to. To be honest, it’s not big of a deal for the most part especially if you’re not a power user who carries multiple batteries in your pocket or bag. The issue here is that you can’t just go buy a new battery and plug it in if you think it’s crapping out already. You would need the assistance of Samsung (or a technician) and have them change the battery for you.
The other omitted regular feature is the microSD card expansion. I got to say that I’m personally disappointed on this one. Yes, the base model is now 32GB. Yes, there’s a 128GB variant available. But it’s just not the same. There’s just some huge difference in the price. Although, using internal storage entirely is definitely faster and saves you the hassle of managing two storages, but it can be handled pretty easily without much tweaking. The good news here is, 32GB’s plenty enough for most of us because it can store a large number of applications, games, photos and videos. If you have the extra cash to buy the higher storage, good. If you don’t, then you just have to deal with it.
The fingerprint scanner on the Galaxy S5 was okay, but it was poorly executed when compared to the iPhone. Fortunately, Samsung finally moved on from their old fingerprint scanner and made it better. The new sensor on the Galaxy S6 Edge is far better and faster than the previous generation. It now works like with the iPhone where you only need to rest your finger on stationary in the scanner, rather than doing a cumbersome swipe motion on the previous generation.
The home button has been improved as well. It’s now clickier and tactile, rather than the mushy button on the Galaxy S5.
The Galaxy S6 Edge runs on Android 5.0.2 Lollipop with Samsung’s TouchWiz skin on top . The company’s heavy skin has been long criticized for being bloated with unnecessary applications and other software implementations pre-installed out of the box. Instead of focusing on making it faster and smoother, they added tons of software features that they hope people would like. The worst part is, they we’re turned on by default which makes their flagships struggle even with top-notch hardware.
Samsung learned their lesson and started optimizing TouchWiz for the Galaxy S6. It has far less bloatwares and most of the added features were turned off. For those who actually find it useful, it’s still available in the settings menu.This version of TouchWiz feels light and is blazing fast – almost as fast as stock Android. All of the annoying, and almost to no avail software shenanigans are now nowhere to be found, or just turned off primarily.
The app-switcher here is just blazingly fast. Probably the snappiest multi-tasking experience on any smartphone. Multi-window also makes an appearance, which can fully take advantage of the 3GB RAM. The true essence of multitasking is doing two things seamlessly and it does just that as the multi-window feature is already very mature and polished on this one.
For those who really care about the aesthetics of the user-interface, Samsung also added themes on this one. There are tree themes that comes pre-installed on the device, but if that’s not enough (sure is), there’s also a dedicated theme store that the company prepared for you. There’s a lot to choose from in here, and what really did catch my attention is the Avengers: Age of Ultron themes, particularly the Captain America one, which I think matches our Black Sapphire S6 Edge that flashes a shade of blue when being looked at most angles.
Update: Android 5.1.1 update is now rolling out.
The Samsung Galaxy S6 Edge sports a pretty damn good camera. The primary shooter boasts a 16-megapixel sensor, with a wide aperture of f1.8 and an OIS (Optical Image Stabilizer) packed in. Just by looking at those impressive figures, it’s without a doubt that the Galaxy S6 is a one hell of a shooter. With its wide aperture of f1.8, you can expect the sensor can receive more light, thus creating a stunning photo, even at low-light scenarios. The built in Optical Image Stabilizer can also help people with shaky hands take good handheld shots.
Judging by all the shots I have taken, the device can snap photos with all the right colors and contrasts, with the right saturation, thus creating a well-detailed and realistic photos, without the exaggerating post-processing. And with its amplified 16-megapixel sensor, images looks pretty sharp, and zooming-in on details is pretty impressive.
Check out these sample shots below:
The device also shoots photos with an aspect ratio of 16:9, natively. The sensor itself is a 16:9, which means there’s no cropping that’s being done. Almost all of the smartphone cameras today uses a sensor with a standard 4:3 aspect ratio, which can still be converted to 16:9, but requires some cropping. I am personally a big fan of the 16:9 aspect ratio as it has a wide-angle look and gives a cinematic feel.
The camera interface is also pretty stellar. To start, you can open the camera app by double pressing the home button rapidly, even if the screen is off or you’re on an app elsewhere. Opening the camera app this way also showcases how snappy the processor is, the app opens lightning fast.
The camera app’s UI have been toned-down, compared to the clunky and bloated previous one. This thing now also has Manual mode, which can fully utilize the device’s superb camera module, and giving it a photographer-friendly status. The Manual Mode gives you full access to the camera’s ISO, White Balance, Focus, and many more.
One of the perks of having the S6 Edge than the standard Galaxy S6 is the slightly larger battery capacity. We have a 2600mAh battery that’s powering this device, the latter has a 2550mAh.
The battery performance may not be the best, but still matches the majority of smartphone devices that are on the market today. The device can last you for a whole day, with still some juice left. If you don’t mind charging the device every night, it won’t be a deal breaker. Screen-on time lasted for almost three to four hours.
Battery performance may be a bit disappointing to some, but they might still like it with the device’s improved charging implementations. The device comes with a fast charger out of the box. And basing from my actual tests, the included charger really guarantees speedy re-juicing. The battery can step up one percent higher in every minute that it’s plugged in. For a quick comparison, an iPhone 5s with its standard charger can also match the Galaxy S6’s quick charging duration, but this is due to its smaller battery capacity. The iPhone 5s only has a 1560mAh battery, the Samsung Galaxy S6 Edge has 2600mAh. It can be fully charged for 1 to 1 and a half hour which is extremely impressive.
The device is also capable of being charged wirelessly. The beautiful wireless charger from Samsung is being sold separately for Php2,099. But during the course of this review, I have tried a cheaper third-party wireless charger(Qi charger), and it did worked seamlessly. It charges slower than wired, but it’s okay since it’s convenient because you just leave it on your desk and you’re good to go.
Hands down, the Samsung Galaxy S6 Edge is one of, if probably not the best, smartphone today. The device may go head-to-head with a lot of recently announced flagships in the high-end market, and also with the emergence of powerful, yet budget-friendly devices from China and other local manufacturers. These competing devices has their own shares of pros and cons to compliment the S6, which can help you make the purchase decision.
As per the Galaxy S6 Edge, the complete change of pace on the design perspective really resulted to an insanely gorgeous device, something that’s really far north from previous Galaxy devices. Glass and metal have always been a perfect match, although, using this type of materials on a smartphone is known for its drawbacks; Samsung had ditch the removable battery feature and the microSD card expansion, which can be a real deal-breaker for some.
The display on this one is also probably the best screen I have seen on any device. QHD is on the spotlight at this point in time, and I am glad that it is. It’s large, sharp and just simply beautiful. The user-interface have also been refined, finally. It’s way lighter than the previous one, which also efficiently utilize the device’s powerful Exynos processor. The Galaxy S6 edge is poised to aim power users, as wireless and fast charging are also possible on this one.
The camera module is also surreal, something a photographer will take a look at. And the improved fingerprint scanner is a big plus too.
If you love the looks of the Samsung Galaxy S6 Edge, you can now get yours at a starting price of Php41,990 for the 32GB base model. But as for me, I think the regular Galaxy S6 is a smarter buy, with the pricing starts at only Php35,990 (also at 32GB). I just don’t think the extra auxiliaries are worthy enough for the extra cash. Plus, I have tried the standard S6 and found that it’s more comfortable in the hands, as it is symmetry and has the same outline to almost all devices that we’re accustomed to.
We got our Smart Galaxy S6 Edge on Smart Postpaid because they have some of the best deals you can get for this smartphone. Check out the tables to see the list of available plans. Click here to get more information.
Smart Galaxy S6 Edge Plans
- Stunning glass-and-metal design
- Sharp and vibrant QHD display
- Improved fingerprint scanner
- Powerful Processor
- Android Lollipop, toned-down TouchWiz
- Top-notch camera
- Wireless and Fast charging
- Non-removable Battery
- No microSD card slot for storage expansion
- Not enough edge features
- No more water/dust proofing